Preparing for emergencies

Severe weather

Severe weather can affect our ability to remain in our home. If you must evacuate due to severe weather, there are things that you can do to reduce damage to your property. If you must leave it is important to secure your property properly ensuring all doors and windows are closed and locked.


Keeping your gutters and drains clear will help with excess rain flooding but sometimes this is not enough and due to high levels of rain or rivers bursting their banks you may have to evacuate your property. If you are evacuating for a flooding event then try and move any electrical items, rugs, and moveable furniture to the upper storeys of the property. If you are in a ground floor or basement property, consider removing the items or placing them on top of tables, and familiarize yourself with local flood risk areas and sign up for alerts in your local area with the Met Office. If you evacuate, turn off all utilities to the property as this will prevent further damage. If you can place a board at the bottom of any doors that could act as a water barrier, then do so.

High Winds

If the severe weather is wind, consider boarding up windows and doors. If there is time, trim trees and bushes and repair fence panels near your home and secure any garden furniture you have by either placing them indoors or securing to immovable items like trees or lampposts. Most of the damage caused by high winds will be items being blown into the property so anything you can do to prevent this will help.

Extreme Heat

In the event of extreme heat, you need to wherever possible try and keep hydrated and cool. The people who are more vulnerable to excessive heat should ensure they have ways of keeping cool and this could be looking for a cool area of the house, keeping fans or air conditioning on, accessing cool spaces provided by the NHS and local councils, wearing appropriate clothing, not going out at peak times of day, keeping curtains, windows and blinds closed until the sun has passed that window or door and keeping hydrated with water and not diuretic drinks like tea and coffee.

Extreme Cold

In the cost-of-living crisis it is hard to keep our heating on all the time, but it is necessary to ensure that you keep warm. The local NHS and council will have warm spaces that you can access if you feel you are unable to heat your property throughout the day. Check your local press for details.

Wearing multiple layers is good. Think jumpers and coats. Keeping your feet, hands and head covered will retain your body heat. Have a blanket on your legs when sat down and keep all your doors and windows closed. If you are struggling to keep your whole house warm, try and remain in one room and heat that room instead of the whole house.